Head of Steam


Our Collections Families at Head of Steam and our access statement Conferences and banqueting Community projects

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Head of Steam is located on the 1825 route of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, the world's first steam-worked public railway.

The museum is devoted to the area formerly served by the North Eastern Railway, with particular reference to the Stockton & Darlington Railway, and the railway industry of Darlington.

Exhibits include Stephenson's 'Locomotion No. 1', built for the opening of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, and 'Derwent', the earliest surviving Darlington built locomotive, on loan from The National Railway Museum Collection.

A range of smaller items including station and lineside signs, uniforms, furniture, tableware and paintings, complements the larger exhibits.  The entrance hall and ticket office are restored in period style, enhanced by displays of items such as porters' barrows, luggage, posters and advertising signs.

The museum also has a dedicated research centre, The Ken Hoole Study Centre, which has an extensive collection of documentary material, photographs, plans, books and periodicals.

We have a shop with souvenirs to suit all tastes and pockets!

We also look after Piercebridge Roman Fort.


North East railways in World War One - find out more about this project.

Get on board - find out more about the Heritage Campus project